Children with Autism to Receive Medical IDs and GPS Location Services through New Grant

Children with autism who live in the California Central Valley are now eligible to receive life-saving services and products thanks to a new partnership between MedicAlert Foundation and the Carlos Vieira Foundation.

With this new grant program, there is a clear goal of supporting families living with autism by helping them pay for specific items that will better protect children with autism and provide families with peace of mind.

Earlier this year, the Merced County Sherriff’s department safely located a 7-year old boy with autism who wandered away near a heavily wooded area and a nearby body of water.  Isaac Sprague was found, unsubmerged, lying on his back in a small body of water.  The frantic search for Isaac worried his family and the rescue time – especially because they knew he was unable to communicate.

Autism's Finanical Costs Impact Families

In the U.S. autism now affects 1 in 88 children, and the financial costs for families raising a child with autism hover around $60,000 a year. Fact is, families living with autism face enormous financial challenges. It’s no secret that the medical costs associated with doctor appointments, lab testing, physician recommended therapy, supplements, and other  expenses related to providing care for a child with autism, make it difficult for parents and caregivers who are in need of financial assistance.

In fact, according to an article on the Autism Support Network website, for families raising children with autism, their overall earnings are 28% less than families without any health complications.

The partnership between MedicAlert and the Carlos Vieira Foundation is specifically designed to help children with autism whose families face financial hardship and live in California’s Central Valley counties of Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, Tuolumne, or Madera.

Autism Related Wandering A Major Concern

One of the major concerns associated with autism is that of wandering. Numerous studies have highlighted that half of all children with autism will wander and more than one-third of those children are unable to communicate their name, address, or phone number.

Through this grant program, financially-stressed families living with autism will be able to take advantage of MedicAlert’s products and services, which are designed to protectchildren during a wandering incident.

As part of the grant offered by the Carlos Vieira Foundation, families may receive MedicAlert GPS + Essential (a highly advanced GPS tracking device), a MedicAlert Essential membership (which includes our 24/7 Emergency Response support), and a MedicAlert medical ID.

  • MedicAlert GPS + Essential :

The device uses GPS + Hybrid technology and is about the size of a domino chip. It can be slipped into a child’s pocket, attached to a backpack, or worn around a necklace. The device offers tremendous accuracy plus a “Safety Circle” feature that allows parents and caregivers to draw boundaries around multiple addresses and receive text and/or email alerts when their child moves outside the perimeter, while still tracking their movements.

  • MedicAlert Essential Membership:

MedicAlert Essential is an online only membership plan designed to provide medical alert services by linking MedicAlert medical IDs to an EMIR® (Emergency Medical Information Record), which stores MedicAlert members’ health information to help ensure they receive proper treatment and care during an emergency.

  • MedicAlert medical ID:

Grant recipients will receive a MedicAlert Shoe Tag medical ID. MedicAlert medical IDs are globally recognized by emergency responders and medical professionals who have been educated to call our 24/7 Emergency Response service, as this grants them immediate access to our member’s health information.

If you, or someone you know might benefit from this new grant, please apply online by clicking here.

Director of Advancement, MedicAlert Foundation
Mr. Mitre has over 10 years in lead administrative capacities with non-profit, educational and healthcare organizations. Currently he serves in the leadership role managing all philanthropic programs for U.S. operations. Victor connects donors, partners and friends to MedicAlert Foundation through philanthropy.